Living with ADHD can be challenging, and it's all too easy to fall into a pattern of self-criticism and shame. However, studies have shown that self-compassion can be essential for managing ADHD. Self-compassion involves treating oneself with the same kindness and understanding that one would extend to a friend. It includes recognizing that everyone makes mistakes and that everyone has difficulties in life. Importantly, self-compassion also entails a willingness to forgive oneself and move on. This can be particularly helpful for people with ADHD, who may often feel like they are falling short of their own expectations. By practicing self-compassion, people with ADHD can learn to accept themselves as they are, and to let go of the shame and self-doubt that can so easily take hold. Self-compassion seems like a great idea in theory, but just how do you do it?

Get mindful

Often, the voice in your head is not even something you are aware of. The way you talk to yourself is such a habit and is so automatic, that you may not even have any awareness that you are doing it. Working on mindfulness and self-awareness is the first step to developing self-compassion. That is, pay attention to what it is that is happening in your mind.

What is your mind saying to you about your experience? About who you are? About the mistakes you make? About your feelings and thoughts?

Most of my clients are not aware of HOW MUCH THEY NEED self-compassion.

Keep a Journal

For many people with ADHD, keeping a journal can be an incredibly helpful tool. Writing down thoughts and experiences can help organize and clarify ideas, making them easier to understand and process. Additionally, journaling can be a form of self-care, providing a space to vent frustrations and track progress over time. For best results, try to write in your journal every day, even if it’s just a few sentences. Ideally, you should find a quiet place to write where you won’t be interrupted. Once you get into the habit of journaling, you may be surprised at how helpful it can be in managing ADHD symptoms.

One thing that can help you once you become more mindful in the moment is to record the patterns and habits of the voice in your head.   A journal can help you to uncover the tendency of the voice to be critical, harmful, shameful and unkind. It can also help you explore how motivated you feel to succeed or do well in the world after listening to that voice. Likely, I'm not motivated at all.

Gratitude journaling is also a great practice.

Practice talking to yourself as if you were someone you loved

Once you become aware of the voice in your head and how you interact with yourself, ask yourself if you would talk to a friend or someone you love that way. If not then why you? Would you allow a friend to talk to you this way?

As a women with adhd you have likely heard many negative messages which you have internalized. Yet as women, we are usually great at loving others.  One way to counter these negative feelings towards outselves is to learn to  talk to ourselves with compassion and understanding.

For example, instead of berating yourself for not finishing a project, try saying something like, "I did my best, and I'm proud of myself for what I was able to accomplish." Research has shown that self-compassion can help boost motivation and reduce stress, both essential for managing ADHD. By speaking to yourself with kindness and understanding, you can help create a more positive inner dialogue that will support you in your journey with ADHD.

Once you become aware of the voice in your head and how you interact with yourself, ask yourself if you would talk to a friend or someone you love that way. If not then why you? Would you allow a friend to talk to you this way?

Learn and practice a new dialog. With self-compassion phrases like:

  • This is hard. I've tried as much as I can today.
  • Everyone makes mistakes, but this feels so hard for me when it happens.
  • Anger( sadness, fear, loneliness)  is so uncomfortable for me.
  • I am hurting, scared, lonely, angry etc, and this feels hard right now.
  • I am doing the best I can even though I see I can now make improvements and will try to do better.
  • I did the best I could at the time.
  • I forgive myself, being angry at myself doesn't help me to do better next time.

Self Compassion helps with Making mistakes.

Self-compassion does not mean you are indulgent or irresponsible, but rather the opposite. Self-compassion allows for mistakes, for understanding that you are human and that humans make mistakes.

Self-compassion is about recognizing when you have made a mistake and then learning from it so that you do not make the same mistake again in the future. 

Too often, we are hard on ourselves for our weaknesses and then do not take action to improve them. Self compassion allows us to see our weaknesses as opportunities for growth instead of as deficits. 

Self-compassion helps you to learn to Tell the Truth

For many people with ADHD, telling themselves the truth can be incredibly painful.

This is because it often feels like you are your own worst enemy. You may constantly compare yourself to others and berate yourself for your mistakes. This type of self-criticism can lead to anxiety and depression, as well as symptoms of "rejection sensitivity disorder" (RSD)

Self-compassionate is about telling the truth about the painfulness of your experiences, not about denying them. Self-compassion has been shown in research to help people be more accountable and honest with themselves.

Recognize and accept all emotions that you feel!  Part of a dialog of self-compassion is admitting the difficult and painful emotions. We all have these experiences; they are human experiences, and we are not alone in our experiencing of them.

Self Compassion is not about letting yourself off the hook

Recognize that practicing a language of self-criticism and hatred, a war on the self, will not help you to be better, stronger or more intelligent.

Research shows that people fear if they are kind to themselves, they are "letting themselves off the hook." The opposite is true. If you are kind to yourself, you are more likely to admit your mistakes, make corrections, make improvements, and continue trying in relationships, in your career, and at life in general.

ADHD can make it challenging to be compassionate and understanding towards ourselves. However, self-compassion is a powerful tool that can help us manage our symptoms and improve our lives. These three tips offer a starting point for developing self-compassion. If you find that they are helpful, don’t be afraid to explore other ways of being kind and gentle with yourself. The most important thing is to begin the journey, even if it’s slow and incremental. With time and practice, self-compassion will become second nature, and you will feel better equipped to handle whatever life throws your way


Medical information obtained from this website is not intended as a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you have a problem, you should consult a healthcare provider.


By admin